The New York Times/England and America
|←Editorials on Carl Schurz||England and America|
|Editorial from The New York Times of October 3, 1898. See also The Anglo-American Friendship by Carl Schurz from The Atlantic Monthly for October 1898.|
ENGLAND AND AMERICA.
An American and an English publicist contribute to The Atlantic Monthly for October their views as to the future relations of their respective countries. Mr. Carl Schurz and Prof. A. V. Dicey, each in his way, is entitled to the most respectful hearing. Both are candid and careful students of politics in the largest sense, and while Mr. Schurz has the advantage of varied experience in high public office and a certain detachment flowing from his European birth and his long years of American citizenship, Prof. Dicey has an international reputation for impartiality and acuteness in his profession.
It is noteworthy that the tone of each of these eminent men is at once cordial and cautious. Both recognize the fact that for now a full generation the policy of England, whatever it may have been previously, and whatever the present motive, has been one of consistent friendliness toward the United States. Both see and rejoice at the disappearance from our side of the demagogic efforts to represent England as our natural foe and to keep alive the animosities which of old had some excuse, if not justification. Both attribute this change to the unforced sympathy and understanding shown by the organs of English opinion during the war with Spain, and both assign due weight to the ties of race and language which proved so firm when it became plain that English-speaking Americans were without real friendship among all the nations of other tongues the world over. But both Mr. Schurz and Prof. Dicey point out that anything like a definite alliance between the two nations would be extremely difficult and might be the source of differences rather than a means of strengthening mutual amity. In fact, practically the only step now open to the two peoples in the direction of formally sealing their friendship is declared by both writers to be a treaty of general arbitration. Such a treaty, says Mr. Schurz, would be a recognition “that no quarrels can possibly arise between the two nations which would not be capable of amicable composition, and that under no circumstances will any less specific method of settlement be desired on either side.” “The very existence of an agreement to arbitrate,” says Prof. Dicey, “fosters the conviction that an armed conflict between kindred people is in itself an enormity which partakes of the horror and the moral criminality attaching to civil war.”
There is, however, one significant difference in the point of view of Mr. Schurz and that of Prof. Dicey. Both agree that common action by the two nations must be in the direction of extending the policy of the “open door,” i. e., in extending free trade. Mr. Schurz thinks that the commercial policy of the United States is so firmly established that any attempt at united action for the “open door” would be likely to result in friction and possible quarrels. That is one of his strongest arguments against precipitate efforts for an understanding. On the other hand, Prof. Dicey clearly implies that one of the chief advantages of such an understanding would be the tendency to promote the adoption of the policy of commercial freedom by the United States. Mr. Schurz's argument is practical. There is no denying its force when we see Republican conventions shouting for the retention “of every foot of land over which the flag floats” and resolving to “maintain in its integrity the beneficent policy of protection for American industries.” But our own judgment is very clear that protection as a principle of National policy is doomed. If it were found desirable on general grounds to come to a clear understanding with England as to a common commercial policy in the East, we do not believe that protection would be a serious obstacle. On the contrary, the interests enlisted in behalf of such a policy would, we are convinced, be powerful enough to secure any change in our own tariff that should be found necessary. Other things being equal, we should say that a definite entente with England on this matter should be welcomed precisely because it would tend to hasten the abandonment of an outgrown and injurious fiscal system. The plain fact is that we have no longer any “infant industries.” They are adult; the vigor of complete manhood is theirs; they are ready for the struggle that manhood brings, and its opportunity and scope. Before long they will demand and get them.
|This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).|
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